LEXINGTON, Va. – David Geary had his first career three-hit game and scored three runs, helping back a 10-strikeout gem by starting pitcher Andrew Woods as the VMI Keydets defeated the Binghamton Bearcats, 4-1, in the finale of a three-game series that ended Sunday at Gray-Minor Stadium. With the victory, VMI (9-5) took the series two games to one.
After Binghamton (4-9) had jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, Geary got VMI started in the bottom half. With one out, he singled to center and alertly advanced to second when the throw back to the infield got away from second baseman Daniel Nevares. Two batters later, Will Connerley singled him home to tie the game, 1-1. Geary then had an RBI single in the third inning that gave VMI the lead for good at 2-1 and added a third hit in the fifth, when he scored on Red Dowdell’s RBI hit.
On the mound, Woods (3-0) cruised to the victory by allowing just three hits over seven innings and fanning a career-high 10. He allowed just two runners to reach scoring position after the first inning, and by throwing the gem, lowered his earned run average to 1.96. Opponents are now hitting just .155 this season against the junior right-hander. Campbell Henkel picked up his first career save by working a scoreless ninth-inning, giving up only a single.
Mike Kaufman (1-1) took the loss for Binghamton, as he gave up four runs, three earned, in 4 1/3 innings.
BU took the early lead, as with one out in the first, Bill Bereszniewicz hit a hard line drive just over the head of Connerley in right field for a triple. He then scored when the next batter, Nevares, hit a fly ball double just beyond Connerley’s reach in the right field corner to make it 1-0, Bearcats.
That would be all Woods would surrender, however, as Connerley atoned for his near misses in the top half with the RBI single in the bottom half. VMI tying the game in the bottom of the first helped continue a season-long trend, as the Keydets have not lost a game this year in which they have had the lead at the conclusion of a full inning.
The Keydets took the lead for good in the third inning. Jordan Tarsovich led off the inning with a walk in a nine-pitch at-bat. BU starter Kaufman then threw wildly on a pickoff attempt, allowing Tarsovich to race around to third. He then scored when Geary dropped a single into shallow left field, a play that saw the VMI third baseman round first base too far. Nevares took the throw back to the infield and appeared to have Geary in a rundown, but threw wildly to first base and the ball bounced out of play for a two-base error, sending Geary all the way to third base. One out later, Dowdell bunted him home on a safety squeeze, making it 3-1, VMI.
Geary keyed another rally in the fifth, when he singled with one out to knock out Kaufman. Brandon Angus had a bunt hit off reliever Anthony Grillini to put two on, and Dowdell bounced a single through the right side to score Geary with the game’s final run and make it a 4-1 contest.
"I was very proud of our team these last two games," said VMI head coach Marlin Ikenberry. "I was very impressed with Andrew Woods today. He did a great job setting the tone on the mound with seven strong innings. His presence and command today were excellent, and our guys like playing behind him when he's throwing that well. David Geary had a great day today and made a lot of things happen, and Red Dowdell and Will Connerley swung the bats well in the middle of the order."
In addition to Geary, VMI saw Dowdell go 2 for 2 with a walk and two runs driven in, while Connerley chipped in with a 2 for 4 day. Dowdell is now 4 for his last 6 after having been 1 for his previous 17. Tanner Dofflemyer also added two hits in the Keydet win.
VMI baseball will return to action Tuesday, as the Keydets travel to Norfolk to face VMI Hall of Famer Chris Finwood’s Old Dominion Monarchs. Game time is set for 6 p.m.